India’s mixed 4×400 relay team set a national record while winning the gold medal at the inaugural edition of Asian Relay Championships on Monday but missed the target of entering the Paris Olympics qualification bracket. The quartet of Muhammed Ajmal, Jyothika Sri Dandi, Amoj Jacob and Subha Venkatesan clocked 3 minutes 14.12 seconds to win the race. The earlier national record of 3:14.34 was clocked by the Indian team while winning silver medal at the Hangzhou Asian Games last year. India was leading in all the four legs of the relay race. Sri Lanka finished second with a time of 3:17.00 while Vietnam was third with 3:18.45.

Monday’s timing will put India in the 21st place — from earlier 23rd — in the Road to Paris list of World Athletics while the aim was to be either in the 15th or 16th spot.

India, thus, is in a difficult position to make the Olympics cut as only sixteen teams will compete in the mixed 4x400m relay event in Paris.

Fourteen mixed 4x400m teams have already automatically qualified for Paris Olympics during the World Athletics Relays in Nassau, Bahamas earlier this month, and only two spots were left to be filled on the basis of best timings of countries till the qualification deadline of June 30.

Czech Republic (3:11.98) and Italy (3:13.56) are currently in the 15th and 16th spot in the Road to Paris list, below the top 14 teams that have booked Paris ticket during the World Athletics Relays in Bahamas, where India had failed to make the grade.

India’s target here on Monday was to at least better 3:13.56 and sit at the 16th spot, but the country failed to do so.

Athletics Federation of India (AFI) may consider sending the mixed 4x400m relay team in international competitions before the June 30 deadline.

India will compete in the men’s and women’s 4x400m relay races on Day 2 on Tuesday.


In Bahamas, the Indian mixed 4x400m relay quartet of Rajesh Ramesh, Rupal Chaudhary, Avinash Krishna Kumar and Jyothika Sri Dandi ran a poor race and failed to make the Paris cut in the heat race of first round qualifiers.

The Indian team pulled out of the second round qualifiers heat race after Ramesh got injured while running the men’s 4x400m relay race.

Later, both the men’s and women’s 4x400m relay teams made the Paris cut during the second round qualification heat race.

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